Brassinosteroids (BRs)

Definition - What does Brassinosteroids (BRs) mean?

Brassinosteroids are a type of plant hormone. Scientists have classified brassinosteroids as the sixth type of plant hormone. These hormones are responsible for affecting thousands of different genes within plant cells.

The name comes from the fact that these steroids were first isolated from the Brassica napus (the common rutabaga).

The five other types of plant hormones are auxins, cytokinins, gibberellins, ethylene, and abscisic acid.

MaximumYield explains Brassinosteroids (BRs)

Plants possess a number of different hormones. Perhaps the most famous are auxins, which include growth regulators and growth boosters. However, scientists have found a sixth group of plant hormones, dubbed brassinosteroids.

Discovered more than 40 years ago, scientists estimate there are at least 50 different compounds found within plants that possess brassinosteroid attributes.

In many ways, brassinosteroids seem to be enablers. They work in conjunction with gibberellins and auxins and are active at much lower concentrations than other plant hormones. They also affect thousands of genes within plants. These hormones also seem more closely tied to the end of a plant’s lifecycle than other hormones, including seed germination and ethylene production.

They can have a negative impact on root development and growth, and xylem production, as well, meaning that they sometimes act as a growth inhibitor, rather than an enhancer. However, in many instances, BRs can act as growth accelerators, and affect everything from cell elongation to stomatal differentiation.

With that being said, plants deficient in brassinosteroids can exhibit a number of negative characteristics, including dwarfism and low fertility, as well as delayed development. BRs have also been found throughout most types of plant tissues, ranging from pollen to root material.

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